If you’re over the age of 20, you’re probably gaining nearly a pound a year. In 2011, the New England Journal of Medicine released results from a decades-long study that found the average American adult gained 3.35 pounds every four years. But it doesn’t have to be that way. The study found, for example, that the biggest weight changes came in people that ate more potato chips and sugar-sweetened beverages.
To stave off love handles, you need good eating habits and a solid workout routine. But you also need to boost your metabolism, which naturally begins to slow as you age. The faster your metabolism, the more calories your body will consume during the day. “Every little bit counts,” says Cedric Bryant, PhD, the Chief Science Officer for the American Council on Exercise. He likens boosting your metabolism and calorie burn as collecting spare change. You’re not going to buy a car with that change, but it might add up to enough to buy dinner (a salad, please), at the end of the month.
Here are 11 ways to boost your metabolism and burn more calories throughout the day. Make these a habit and you’ll fit into your college jeans for decades to come.